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12/27/2017 11:25:39 AM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Self Segregation
Vayigash 5778

On Sunday, January 7, our shul will be going on a field trip.  We won’t be going far.  We will just be going up the road, less than a mile away, to a neighborhood in Silver Spring called Lyttonsville where we will tour the neighborhood with a local historian.  Lyttonsville was a segregated community founded by a freed slave in the 19th century.  The community that lived in...Read more...

11/27/2017 09:30:23 AM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

The Kosher Pig®
Vayetzei 5778

As Jacob prepares to leave the land of his birthplace, the land of Canaan, the land of our heritage, he dreams a dream.  His dream is not just a mere dream, but a symbol to him as he journeys outward to the world.

“Jacob dreamt a dream.  And behold his ladder was firmly attached to the ground and its top was climbing heavenward, vehineh sulam mutzvav artzah, verosho magiah...Read more...

10/16/2017 01:32:07 PM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

The World to Come is in Our Hands
Shemini Atzeret 5778

On Shemini Atzeret we recite yizkor.  We remember the souls who have enriched our lives with their love.  We hold them close spiritually and we connect to them in a way we don’t make time for every day.

On Shemini Atzeret the souls of our loved ones visit us and spend time with us.

Where are those souls the rest of the year?

This week...

10/02/2017 10:44:04 AM


Shari Kleiner

Kol Nidre 5778

Hi. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Shari Kleiner.

I am the Chair of this year’s High Holiday Appeal.  

So this is the appeal speech.  Every year at this time, someone gets up here and makes an appeal to help Ohev survive another budget cycle. That’s the way this shul works – it charges less in dues and fees than is budgeted to run the shul.  You may wonder...Read more...

10/02/2017 09:35:19 AM


Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Yom Kippur 5778

On my desk sit two handwritten letters that I have received this year. One is from a Christian woman who is a local resident of Shepherd Park. The other is from a Jewish man who is currently an inmate at a Maryland State prison. I don’t have a prior relationship with each. But despite the obvious differences in their background, both people took the time to write to me for the same reason - they both read...Read more...

10/02/2017 09:30:30 AM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Removing Our Walls
Yom Kippur 5778

Every year I stand before you on Kol Nidrei night and tell you a funny story about my car.  But this year I have no funny story about a car for you.  This year instead I want to talk about a very sad, car story.  

I am talking about a car that at 1:45 pm on Saturday, August 12 intentionally plowed into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, and murdered Heather...Read more...

09/25/2017 01:53:22 PM


Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Rosh Hashanah 5778

In January I had the honor to join over 150 people from Ohev and nearby communities on a trip to Selma, Alabama to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in honor of MLK weekend. While I was excited for the trip, and so proud that an Orthodox synagogue was going down to really immerse ourselves in not just learning about the Civil Rights Movement but bearing witness to the tremendous struggles that people...Read more...

09/25/2017 01:48:46 PM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Is a Golem a Human?
Rosh Hashanah 5778

Rosh Hashanah is the day we celebrate the creation of the world—hayom harat olam.  Rosh Hashanah is the day that we recognize the awesome and majestic power of our Creator.

But we are now living in a world of such technological advancement where human beings are also capable of creating the most awesome inventions.  Some people mistakenly think we don’t need to...Read more...

Wed, May 22 2019 17 Iyyar 5779